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Blanche Lola (Urwiller) Koehler
Oct. 26, 1921 - Feb. 4, 2019
Harvard resident Blanche Lola (Urwiller) Koehler, 97, died Monday, February 4, 2019, at the Harvard Rest Haven in Harvard, NE.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1:30 p.m., Friday, February 8, 2019, at the United Church of Christ in Harvard, NE with Pastor Dave Johnson officiating. Interment will follow at the Harvard Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m., with the family greeting friends from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., at McLaughlin Funeral Chapel in Clay Center, NE.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the United Church of Christ in Harvard, Tabitha Hospice in Grand Island or the Harvard Rest Haven.
Blanche was born October 26, 1921, in Sodtown, NE to Henry and May (Lange) Urwiller on a farm in Buffalo County. She was part of a family of nine children, and their lives revolved around family, neighbors and church at the Zion Evangelical St. Michael Church.
She graduated from Ravenna High School in 1938. Then she went to Grand Island and worked at the American Optical Company during World War II, where they made glasses for the U.S. soldiers.
Blanche met her late husband, Lawrence at a church youth rally in Rosedale, NE; and they were married April 25, 1948, at the Evangelical Church in Grand Island. They lived and farmed near Clay Center, NE, where they raised five children.
Blanche took great joy in raising large vegetable gardens and equally large flower gardens until just a few years before her death. Blanche was an active member of the Harvard Evangelical United Brethren Church, serving as youth leader for many years. She was also a volunteer at the Harvard Rest Home and provided “Chapel” each week for over 25 years. On April 12, 2009, she joined the United Church of Christ in Harvard.
Blanche was a charter member of the Happy Homemakers Extension Club. For more than 50 years, these women shared the joys and trials of rural life, trading household tips and health/wellness information, and supporting each other as their families grew. She was an avid writer, always sending notes or letters for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special events for family and friends. And Grandma will always be remembered for her homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, ginger snaps and athletic ability.
Blanche is survived by her five children and spouses, Randall Dean (Deborah) of Nelson; Beverly Mae Lunsford of Silver Spring, MD; Larry Gene (Rebecca) of Harvard; Gerald Lee (Karen) of Harvard; and Barbara Lola (Randall) Kemper of Lincoln; 17 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren; brother and spouse, Dr. Richard (Suzanne) Urwiller; sister in law, Ruth Nelson and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 56 years, Lawrence Calvin Koehler, four brothers, three sisters, and son-in-law, John Lunsford.
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